By: Julieta Hernandez Photos by: Lillian Reitz
Life doesn’t really stop for any of us, but we can afford to take breaks now and then without venturing too far away. We often underestimate the effect of feeling the sun on our faces or fresh air in our lungs after a long day of concentration inside. So, let’s stop holding our breath: Here are a few spots to just step away from everything and remind yourself to love where you live, even amid these times.
The Duck Pond at Lakeview Park
On Rodd Field and Holly Road, known as Lakeview Park, it’s something out of a romance novel if you catch it at the right time of day. Located within civilization, this park is merely a short detour away. The waddling ducks you’ll come across are friendly; they know you’re coming, they don’t mind if you have a seat, take your time, and enjoy a drink or read a book. Be wary about your snacks, though…they might want those. 7110 Holly Rd.
Violet Andrews Park
In Portland, this quaint, windy little sanctuary is hidden off Wildcat Dr. With its rocky seashore, the sound of crashing waves pairs wonderfully with a few moments of careful thought. This dog-friendly park also has a walking trail with a deeply saturated green landscape and plants and flowers that’ll make you go, “Hmmm.” During the peak sunshine days, windsurfing and kite flying takes place here. 305 Wildcat Dr.
The Oso Bay Wetland
This spot doubles as a relaxing park and an immersive learning experience. The preserved wilderness and different kinds of flowers and birds are something to marvel over. Rabbit and coyote sightings are not unlikely, and there’s a pond near the playground area where we hear tadpoles and other small, mossy creatures like to hang out. 2446 N Oso Pkwy.
Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge
Off Ennis Joslin is a shady trail full of trees and detours, and it’s not too far from the rest of the city. The popular trail is actually said to be one of the best bird-watching areas for regular and migratory birds, so it’s not a coincidence if you run into a whooping crane or a coot doing its thing. Runners love this trail for its bushy trees that block out a little heat. 909 Ennis Joslin Rd.
Rockport Beach Park
Golden-brown sand and a tall, sturdy volleyball net; perfect for taking off shoes and getting competitive. The sun likes this place a lot, so roll up your sleeves and let that skin toast up. The ocean water is shallow for quite some distance, which is just inviting enough to roll your pant bottoms up and get your feet wet. Entry to this beautifully-kept beach is $5 per vehicle daily, and $20 for the month. 319 Broadway St.